Woman accused of stealing ambulance outside hospital

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was not your typical car theft or your typical scene for a car theft.

It only took a few minutes for the fully equipped Medic ambulance to disappear from the Emergency Department at the Carolina’s Medical Center Thursday night, while its crew was inside the ER with a patient.

 “All the trucks have the key in the ignition,” said Medic spokesman Lester Oliva, trying to explain how it could happen.

He said it is standard procedure for crews to leave keys in ambulances at the hospital as they take patients inside.  Only this time, when the crew got back out, their truck was gone.

“They notified dispatch immediately and we were able to see exactly where the truck was and get CMPD en route,” Oliva said.

Medic used the GPS unit that is in all ambulances to track the missing unit and direct police toward it.

Officers stopped the ambulance on Albemarle Road and took Autumn Prieschl, 35, into custody without incident.

She is charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle.

No one answered the door at Prieschl’s home Friday.

Oliva said it is the first time someone has taken an ambulance in four years, and no one saw it coming—especially not at the hospital.

“Somebody took advantage of our focus on taking care of our patients and took advantage of our truck,” he said.